2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 4, Day 4 – Warm Springs Bay to Red Bluff Bay | NW Explorations


2022 Alaska Flotilla – Leg 4, Day 4 – Warm Springs Bay to Red Bluff Bay

Morning started with a soft blanket of low clouds with a small break revealing that blue skies would be in the forecast today, a welcome sight indeed. Chatham Strait was calm for our short journey to Red Bluff Bay, easily located by its red treeless bluff at the entrance of the narrow fjord. The bald bluff is due to poor soil, high in iron that stunts tree growth.

The narrow entrance requires the boats to follow in a close line. The walls rise straight up out of the water on the south wall, covered with lush greenery and trees grasping for a hold wherever they can find purchase. The north side is sprinkled with small islands and rock piles where eagles rest and deer wander.

Moving in through the narrow channel provides a glimpse of the massive mountains that tower over the head of the fjord. Waterfalls cascade down from dizzying heights and create powerful spray as they pour into the bay. Reaching the last turn, the protected bay opens up in all its glory! Waterfalls too numerous to count pour from the snow fields that rest on the shoulders of the rocky peaks. A river with huge, scattered trees carried down when the waters were much higher, are at the head of the bay. All of the bay is surrounded by a wide delta covered in green grasses and wildflowers.

Shortly after forming a raft with Bonum Vitae and Mojo, a brown bear wondered out onto the nearby rocky beach providing us with entertainment and photo opportunities as it made its way under a fallen tree towards our boats. Nicole, Lynn, Irene and Marianne went on a kayaking adventure, first time ever for Irene! They paddled over the flooded grassy delta, were delighted by a curious harbor seal and paddled over to the falls to get a closer look. Karen and Bob had an evening paddle in their double kayak. Ben from Thea of course went fishing in the river, hopeful for salmon or Dolly Varden but neither would be caught today.

While Jane and Chris were out kayaking, we were treated to another brown bear as it ventured out of the forest and onto the beach. We remained silent and still but eventually it noticed us, stood up for a better look and quietly retreated into the woods. Surrounded by sounds of birds and the fortune of amazing weather, we settled in for another quiet evening.

P.S. Is Alaska on your bucket list? We can take you there! Email us to reserve your spot on our 2023 Mother Goose AK Flotilla. charters@nwexplorations.com 

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